New Jersey Returns $2.9M to Medicaid After Planned Parenthood False Billing
by Steven Ertelt
August 23, 2010
Trenton, NJ (LifeNews.com) — After a U.S. Inspector General report showed New Jersey-based family planning clinics run by the Planned Parenthood abortion business were improperly billing Medicaid for services that did not qualify as family planning, the state has returned $2.9 million to the Medicaid program.
Last week, the New Jersey Department of Human Services refunded $2.9 million in prescription drug and medical payments, the Star Ledger newspaper reported.
Marie Tasy, the director of New Jersey Right to Life, released the information about the improper billing problems at Planned Parenthood last week.
Falsely billing programs that were not qualified as family planning programs able to be reimbursed by the federal government had the state receiving $9 in reimbursement for each $1 spent on the nonqualified programs.
State officials were sent letters in July 2007, June 2008 and August 2008 notifying them of the problems and requesting action to correct the errors. The reports found billing errors from February 1, 2001 through January 31, 2005.
An initial audit revealed New Jersey improperly received federal reimbursement at the enhanced 90% rate for 160,955 prescriptions drug claims that were billed as family planning, but did not qualify as family planning services. A letter from the Inspector General to New Jersey officials recommended that New Jersey repay $2,219,746 to the federal government.
A second audit by the U. S. Inspector General for the HHS Department found Planned Parenthood family planning centers improperly received the enhanced 90% rate for outpatient services which did not qualify as family planning services.
Of the 107 claims, 64 were for family planning services eligible for federal Medicaid reimbursement at the 90 percent rate and 43 claims did not qualify as family planning services, and were therefore ineligible for federal Medicaid reimbursement at the 90% rate.
The newspaper indicated the state health department sent a notice in March 2009 to those involved in family planning programs across the state notifying them of the problems.
Tasy says the report specifically cites Planned Parenthood officials who told investigators that they billed all claims to Medicaid as "family planning" and "populated the family planning indicator field on Medicaid claims even though the service provided did not meet the criteria for 90 percent Federal funding."
As a result, the Office of Inspector General sent a letter on June 17, 2008 to the Commissioner of Human Services recommending that the state refund $597,496 to the federal government and amend their procedures to prevent improper billing in the future.
A third audit found New Jersey received federal Medicaid reimbursement for 111 of the 161 claims for inpatient services which were improperly billed as family planning at the enhanced 90 percent rate. The Office of Inspector General recommended New Jersey reimburse $162,548 to the federal government and determine the amount of federal Medicaid funds improperly reimbursed at the 90% rate for inpatient hospital services following the audit period and refund that amount as well.
"The facts cannot be denied. These audits show a systematic abuse of improper billing of Medicaid for family planning services to the federal government to obtain 90% reimbursement," said Tasy of New Jersey Right to Life.
"Planned Parenthood has been cited specifically as one of the principal agents of these improper billing practices by the OIG," she mentioned.
The new information comes as New Jersey lawmakers have been lobbying Governor Chris Christie to restore $7.5 million in state taxpayer funds to family planning and Planned Parenthood centers. https://www.lifenews.com/state5281.html
They want to require state residents to apply for a federal waiver which would reimburse these clinics 90% for every Medicaid service they provide, including family planning services.
Related web sites:
New Jersey Right to Life – https://njrtl.org
Sign Up for Free Pro-Life News From LifeNews.com
Daily Pro-Life News Report Twice-Weekly Pro-Life
News Report Receive a free daily email report from LifeNews.com with the latest pro-life news stories on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here. Receive a free twice-weekly email report with the latest pro-life news headlines on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here.